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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will take up appeals filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the acquittal of Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in two NAB references on April 18.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb will hear the appeals which have been pending before the court since 2014.

Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir acquitted former president and co-chairperson of the PPP in 2014 in two corruption references — Ursus Tractors and Polo Ground — which NAB had filed about 17 years ago.

He was acquitted in the Ursus Tractors reference in December 2014 and given a clean chit in the Polo Ground reference in May the same year. Judge Bashir had pronounced the decision under Section 265-K of the Code of Criminal Procedure which empowers a judge to acquit an accused if the evidence against him is insufficient.

The former president faced six corruption references filed against him in 1997. He was cleared of all charges in all of them.

NAB has also challenged Mr Zardari’s acquittal in an assets reference case which has been pending before the Lahore High Court since 2017.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2019